UKC

/ Hiking/Trekking vs Expedition Gear ?

L Getoiu - on 10 Jul 2018

Hi, all. 

Is there a major difference between hiking and mountaineering backpacks? 

I've got my eyes on something like Grivel Alpine Pro 40+10, Lowe Alpine Alpine Ascent 40:50 or Osprey variant 52 but I'm also finding backpacks like TNF Banchee 50l and other similar backpacks in trekking stores.

Can I get a Rab Ascent 900 (-12/-18 comfort) or Rab Ascent 1100 (-18/-25 comfort) and presume that I can sleep anywhere in the winter with them (say about -2/-10)?

Would they be a total overkill for Scottland or Alps?

Crampons - I wouldn't put a C2/3 Crampon on B1 boot but can you have a C1 crampon on a B3 boot ?

I've been sold Meindl Bhutan with Grivel Monte Rosa (don't know if because they're more flexible than G10) and when I put the Monte Rossa on the B3 boots they feel as if they're going nowhere. Is there a point of buying a stiffer crampon just for the B3 boots?  

Post edited at 20:09
PPP - on 10 Jul 2018
In reply to Getoiu:

Is there a major difference between hiking and mountaineering backpacks? 

Yes. A hiking rucksack is going to be a lot smaller (no more than 25l in summer, IMHO) and lighter. You really don't need much stuff. My winter rucksack is 25L and I can get away with 14L rucksack in other 3 seasons (with Micro Four Thirds camera and few lenses).

You need something more supportive for longer trips. I have tried to do some up to week long trips in climbing rucksacks (such as Osprey Mutant 38) and it's just not comfy enough. 

Can I get a Rab Ascent 900 (-12/-18 comfort) or Rab Ascent 1100 (-18/-25 comfort) and presume that I can sleep anywhere in the winter with them (say about -2/-10)?

Certainly sounds an overkill, but it's also a preference thing. My 850 Fill Power 400g Fill Weight sleeping bag is good enough for things like this:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=306539

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=308231

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=285924

I have also stayed in bothies in winter and it's adequate. Might need an extra layer every now and then, but it's my all year round sleeping bag in Scotland. Good mat and a dram helps, though.

However, I spent almost 20 years in a country where -20~25C is common in colder periods. I am usually the one with the least layers on the hills these days. Earlier this spring I passed few folk in hats and gloves while wearing shorts and a thin softshell. So it's down to personal preferences and comfort levels, I guess. 

Crampons - I wouldn't put a C2/3 Crampon on B1 boot but can you have a C1 crampon on a B3 boot ?

I am not sure why you want to hill walk in B3 boots? I have done that in La Sportiva Nepal Extremes for few years, including Ben Lawers 5 Munro round (18+km, 1500m ascent) in knee-to-waist deep snow. Much happier with lighter boots. Keeps you moving quicker and you would need less food/stuff (back to answer #1). 

L Getoiu - on 10 Jul 2018
In reply to PPP:

Thank you for your reply. Nice photos. In 2016 somebody in shorts and thin soft shell passed us on the way up to Ben Nevis...it might have been you lol. Somewhere in the edit I've deleted a part where I was going to explain that I'm actually preparing for Mount Elbrus this summer and Kilimanjaro+Aconcagua in the next few years. I haven't got much mountaineering experience and all of my summits have been under 3000m, unprepared with the wrong clothing. I'm generally not cold blooded but when I do get cold it's hard to get warm again. That's why I was thinking to get a warmer sleeping bag that I can use for 2000-6000m and sometimes in -2 to -10 range unzipped or something. About the rucksack I've got a 25l one and its absolutely not enough. It's usually about 12-14 kg and so far I had no problems walking 8-10 hours with it. I'm also shooting some landscapes hence why I want a larger backpack (5-10l on top for camera gear). I really like some of the backpacks that I've tried on and I compare them all to the Osprey Variant as this is what a salesperson in Snow+Rock said is the best on the market (very comfy and light and has a pocket for avalanche gear so I can use it for snowboarding as well) but even a £25 backpack from Millets feels ok when I tried it in the shop. They all have decent padding, weight is relatively the same and all have gear loops etc. Where do we draw the line that divides the trekking from mountaineering backpacks? 

Post edited at 23:02
PPP - on 11 Jul 2018
In reply to Getoiu:

I would advise you to revise your kit and see what you actually use. A lot of us can get geeky about gear and I do own some lightweight gear that doesn't last as long, but it's a knee saver on those long days with lots of descent. 12-14kg sounds like a lot - what is in there? 

 

Those more expensive rucksacks might be lighter, more supportive/breathable with more bells and whistles. I don't think I ever had a rucksack fail, but I have seen stitching coming undone on longer trips - it's not something you want to happen! Some will feature things that might become standard - the ice axe holding system (like this: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GP8R74Vt6Ts/Ufquth9HnmI/AAAAAAAAA8U/F9sPmk-QoLg/s1600/IMG_3710.JPG ) is now pretty much ubiquitous for all winter rucksacks. 

Siward on 11 Jul 2018
In reply to PPP:

Whereas for bothies in winter I prefer my minus 20 Rab bag. It's important to be cosy at night. Horses for courses. 

L Getoiu - on 16 Jul 2018
In reply to Siward:

So is the bottom line that I can still use -20 comfort rating sleeping bag in -5 and won't be sweating like a pig ?